International conference organised in Lille 3 on 20-21 March 2009 by CECILLE, EA 4074 and Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion (IRHIS), UMR-CNRS 8529
Organiser : Philippe Vervaecke (Lille 3)
Scientific committee : Annie Collovald (Nantes), Richard Davis (Lille 3), Richard Griffiths (Kings' College), Gilbert Millat (Lille 3), Kevin Passmore (Cardiff), Jacques Prévotat (Lille 3), Dan Stone (Royal Holloway), Jean Vavasseur-Desperriers (Lille 3)
The objective of the conference is to compare the political culture of the far right on both sides of the Channel, from the beginning of the twentieth century, at the time of the French « revolutionary right » analysed by Sternhell and of the rise of the Radical Right in Britain, to the contemporary parties and movements of the far right (National Front and British National Party; Front National).
This colloquium is a multi-disciplinary project addressed to specialists of the far right from such fields of social sciences as political science, sociology, anthropology or history. To pursue the comparative perspective, the colloquium will be organised around thematic workshops on specific aspects of the political culture of those groups. Contributors are thus not necessarily expected to engage with a comparative perspective in their papers, in which they may address one specific national context.
The comparative perspective is to centre upon the concept of political culture, by which we refer to the ideological complexion of those parties and movements, their forms of organisation, their positioning towards other parties, in particular parties of the moderate right, their recruiting strategies in social and geographical terms, and also the partisan sociability and political practices that characterize them.
The project does not consist in another assessment of, and debate over, the failure or success of these types of movements in France and Britain, but rather in considering, in the various guises of the “ultra-right” in France and Britain, the evolution of the political rhetoric articulated by these political organisations and their relationship with the moderate sections of the right.
Papers will focus on the modes of exchanges and transfers between the French and British radical rights during the 20th century. They may include such perspectives as how those parties viewed one another, or how the British in general, or members of the British far right in particular, viewed the Vichy regime. They may assess the current impact of Jean-Marie Le Pen on the discourse and the electoral strategies of the British far right. The issue will be to sketch out reciprocal influences, either in ideological terms or concerning the forms of partisanship of those parties. Papers may also outline British perspectives on the far right in France, or French perspectives on its British counterpart, and discuss the theoretical approaches to the far right in both countries and the terminological shifts in the way historians, sociologists, political scientists have designated the far right.
The comparative perspective may cover various aspects of the discourse and forms of partisanship of the radical right in both countries. Concerning discourse this may cover comparisons of the visions of national history, or the references to gender, religion, Empire, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, anti-capitalism, ruralism, anti-urbanism, anti-parliamentarianism articulated by those organisations. We also welcome comparative assessments of the relations between the far right and moderate sections of the right within each of these political systems, or studies on the critique of multiculturalism currently propagated by far right movements on either side of the Channel.
Concerning partisan practices, we invite comparative contributions dealing with the forms of political organisation and the political rituals of those movements, as well as on their recruiting strategy within different sections of the population (manual workers, women, the middle classes, soldiers, ex-servicemen etc.)
The conference will take place on March 20-21 2009 at Lille 3. Interested scholars should send a curriculum vitae and abstract (maximum 2000 characters, including spaces) to Philippe Vervaecke by June 15 2008.
Lecturer in British Civilization
Department of English Studies
Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3
Pont de Bois
59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq
00 333 20891572 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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